The experience acquired by Sardinia in desertification will be made available to a region of West Uganda for the implementation of projects to assure water supplies, manage forest resources and provide training for reforestation activities. The two regions signed an Agreement in Adjumani to promote the exchange of best practices in these sectors.
The signing ceremony was attended by the Councillor for General Affairs of the Regional Council of Sardinia, Filippo Spanu, the Deputy Prime Minister for the Madi-West Nile Sub-Region, Moses Ali, at the presence of Italian Ambassador Domenico Fornara, the Ugandan Minister of Agriculture, Vincent Ssempijja, and the Ugandan Ambassador to Italy, Elizabeth Paula Napeyok.
Councillor Spanu said: “The cooperation relationship that has just arisen between our two territories is a tangible example of ‘decentralised territorial cooperation’ based on sharing common problems and on requesting the direct intervention of the Ugandan Government. The Agreement arose in close cooperation with the Italian State and the presence of Ambassador Fornara in Adjumani was very relevant for us. In the past few days, I had the opportunity to appreciate this region, which is characterised by many opportunities and a very young population, full of drive and energy, and precisely on the basis of these aspects will we be able to successfully develop our common proposals, which are so extensively shared that it makes them as effective and sustainable as possible”. The Madi-West Nile Sub-Region intends to rely on the Sardinian Region’s scientific support in reforestation activities and in the training of experts in this specific sector. The technical experts and researchers who came from Sardinia – Luciano Gutierrez and Laura Altea from the Desertification Research Unit (NRD) from the University of Sassari, the technical experts from the Enas region, Maria Antonietta Dessena and Andrea Virdis, and officials from the Region’s Project Unit for Migration Flows, led by Marco Sechi – carried out on-site inspections and meetings with the Ugandan population, local administrations and experts in order to verify the effective situation on the ground and subsequently develop a project to be implemented by the end of the year.
The Madi-West Nile Sub-Region is generously committed to providing shelter to more than 500,000 refugees from South Sudan in 48 camps. The territory of Adjumani alone hosts over 200,000 people fleeing from wars and persecutions. All this produces continuous pressure on territorial resources: land, forests, wetlands and water. “It is a dutiful opening towards a Country that hosts more than one million refugees and ranks third in the world in reception,” added Councillor Spanu. The numerous meetings between the two regions have also created opportunities for Sardinian businesses in a market that is very interesting especially in the sector of tourism, public works and renewable energy sources.